A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the theatrical inappropriateness of Cloverfield and was subsequently chewed out by my readers. As much as it sucks being told you're wrong by three pages worth of commenters, though, I appreciate that so many people disagreed with my argument. There's nothing better than sparking a conversation, even if it means I have to single myself out and appear as a fool to do so. That isn't to say I don't still believe in what I wrote or that I meant only to be provocative, but I did become convinced by some of the points made, and was able to rethink a lot of the issue. However, I'm not about to redo that column; instead, I'm simply going to contemplate the more general idea of theatrical appropriateness and hopefully continue the discussion.
This week I heard from some college film professors dealing with the sad truth that their students don't actually go to the movies anymore, that they instead watch films primarily on DVD or other home entertainment formats (these particular professors teach in New York City, where there's countless old and new films to see every week, by the way). One professor caught herself, though, telling a class that while many films, such as No Country for Old Men, need to be seen on a big screen, DVDs are fine for comedies, which tend not to lose much in the translation to the small screen(s). As this class was on American film comedy, she quickly corrected herself and noted that comedies too are best viewed in a theater, because we're more prone to laugh when doing so in large groups.